This right here, this right now is a time I want to savor, standing on the precipice of the holiday season, Thanksgiving within reach and the run to Christmas coming in so hot I can taste it, smell it, feel it. The whole glorious mess stretches out shiny and bubbly before us, filled with the promise every dish will be delicious, every conversation will be filled with snappy repartee and/or a beautiful insight about someone you love and who loves you and that makes that love grow and wrap its warm snuggly arms around you both. There is a fire, there’s always a fire and it is cozy, and warm, and all your very most favorite carols play in the background at the very most perfect volume. There is the tree and there are gifts and these are not only purchased but wrapped and those that have required it have long since been shipped.
Except that it’s never quite what we anticipate, is it? The holiday season? I learned this early when—I exaggerate not—every December something happened in my mother’s life that threw the whole dang thing into a tailspin. My dad’s back going out, and him ending up at Duke, in surgery; my grandmother in the hospital, most unexpectedly; the morning of my parents’ annual, epic holiday party—every year, without fail—catastrophe of some sort having struck.
And you know what?
(You do, because we all do.)
The season never is perfect. Ever. Because life is never perfect, and when you take that and slather on a big, thick layer of holiday expectation the disappointment becomes all the more, well, disappointing.
I’ve thought a bit about that this year, and about the fact so many of us feel worn down and anxious and in need of a good strong shot of joy. Which leads me to the practice of looking for joy in the sometimes big but most often tiny moments of the holiday season. These are snippets that are easy to overlook when there is a grand hustle-bustle, or when they lie buried deep in a stack of dirty dishes or floating lost under the piles of discarded wrapping paper would someone please just get a trash bag. Well I want to notice. I need to notice, this year more than ever. So I’m making my noticing a thing by recording these sweet joys here, on The Daily Grace. My intention is to slow down, to look for the good, to accept joy in its most tiny bits and to let the grace of that acknowledgement fill me up with a warmth born of connection or light or of grace itself.
I’d love for you to join me. Take a photo, make a note, or simply take a gentle moment before sleep to consider and soak. And if you care to share, a comment, an email, or a share via the socials would be so welcome. That connection means the world.
We are a people, I believe, sore in need of some joy, and as we make our way through Thanksgiving and Advent and Christmas and New Years, good joy will surely come.
It always does, if we watch for it.
30 Days of Joy